From the Executive Director

At the end of May, NDIA Iowa – Illinois Chapter hosted the 11th Annual Midwest Government Contracting Symposium (previously called the Small Business Symposium) in Moline IL across the river from Rock Island Arsenal (an active U.S. Army facility located on a 946-acre island in the Mississippi River, between Davenport, Iowa and Rock Island, Illinois)

Some comments from the event:

  • The Army is interested in new ideas – but will not consider anything with an increased cost – do MORE with LESS or the SAME. Areas of interest include modernization, war-gaming, talent management, and training.
  • For the Army – small business must be able to support READINESS and ability to SCALE UP – it is critical. If they cannot, work will go to large business.
  • Expressed commitment to internal talent and training development
  • Year-end dollars are available – committed to support of readiness
  • A priority – to increase use of metrics and operations to more quickly support the soldiers needs
  • Additional concepts of importance – enterprise wide contracts, source selection, category management, scrubbing of policy layers to increase overall efficiencies
  • Of course 252.204-7012 was a point of discussion. Comments were made by a couple of primes that if their subcontractors cannot certify to the current cyber requirements, they will be removing them their supplier databases (including question on compliance in supply chair registrations).   Other considerations in this area include protest (non-compliance of competitor), appropriate flow down and application of clause (specific vs broad), depth of supply chain compliance.  It is anticipated that compliance will become an evaluation factor in proposals.   If your business needs assistance in this area please contact Marc Violante at or 920-456-9990
  • DOD representatives encouraged industry to educate the CO’s on changes where appropriate and needed. Also encouraged industry to share with government their feedback on impact regulatory or other changes have on their ability to contract.
  • STRONGLY encouraged responding to Sources Sought and RFI – they are asking. Suggested responding in the negative if the requirement could be improved or is in some way not realistic.  Looking for industry feedback.
  • Use of LOGCAPS, EAGLE, CHESS, OASIS and other government wide contracts
  • SubNet– some of you may remember SubNet – it has been around for a while with limited success. It is a database of subcontracting opportunities posted by large contractors looking for small businesses to serve as subcontractors.  Currently it has limited use, BUT an enhanced site is scheduled for release on September 20, 2018 with the ability to post events scheduled for December 2, 2018.

From the Executive Director

On May 15, the US VA VISN 12 and WPI hosted the 6th Annual US Department of Veterans Affairs Business Conference in Milwaukee.

This conference focused on procurement procedures and business opportunities for veteran owned businesses with the Department of Veterans Affairs, VISN 12 area consisting of Milwaukee, WI; Madison, WI; Tomah, WI; Chicago, IL; Danville, IL; and Iron Mountain, MI with eight medical centers, 38 outpatient clinics, eight nursing homes, and six domiciliaries, providing health care services to the 700,000 Veterans who reside within its four state (Illinois, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin, and Northwest Indiana) area. Overall, the Department of Veterans Affairs spends over $23 billion annually.

I would like to share some updates and “words of wisdom” that were shared by the presenter at the event:

  • Businesses interested or are currently contracting with the VA, must be aware of the Veterans First requirements and the CVE verification.  Note:  the site is currently suspended for website transitioning.
  • Answer SOURCES SOUGHT – and answer specifically to the requirement. SOURCES SOUGHT are posted at .  The responses impact set aside decisions.
  • Read – really read – the solicitations you are considering and if you decide to respond, be responsive. If you are not responsive to the requirement and do not understand what the evaluation factors / basis of the award will be, you will not get the award.
  • Understand small business programs – how they apply, their benefit AND the concept of affiliation – the federal, state and local programs differ.
  • Get quick access to the National Acquisition Center, including the Federal Supply Schedule(FSS) Service and National Contract Service(NCS) and the programs they offer such as MedSurg Catalog and Pharmaceutical Catalog products and services.

We want to extend a special thank you to Steve.

If you have questions or need assistance on contracting with the Department of Veterans Affairs, please contact Carol Murphy at or 414-270-3600.


2018 Top 100 highlights a growing market

For the second year in a row, a new company holds the No. 1 spot on the annual Washington Technology Top 100.

Last year, Leidos unseated Lockheed Martin after a 22-year run. But this year, Leidos is pushed aside by General Dynamics with Leidos dropping one position to No. 2.

The rise of both Leidos and GD in the rankings is thanks in large part to transformational acquisitions the companies completed. Leidos acquired Lockheed Martin’s IT business in 2016. And GD acquired CSRA earlier this year.

But those deals are about more than just the companies involved. They point toward a market that is undergoing a fundamental change.

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